Sorry if this is a huge read, but it turned out that I had a lot on my chest.
I'm 34. About 17 years ago, I became boyfriend to my now wife, which also is my first and only girlfriend. I got to meet her parents and was served homemade pizza for dinner. I got fond of her father, as he was a joyous and funny guy, just like myself.
Over the years, we could sit in some chairs in the corner in the living room at their house and enjoy a beer, or we could watch soccer on the tv. We even had some nights when we watched tv while having a few drinks, having amounts of fun, especially when he started prank calling to his co-workers, farting on the phone. As I write this, I can see that some of you might call it childish, but it was our kind of humor.
In September 2011, he passed away, 58 years of age.
I was at work, had just bought some lunch from the cafeteria, and was on my way back to the office. Since I had forgotten my phone at the office, I didn't get her 12 missed calls. When I called back up, I asked what was wrong (she never calls me 12 times in a row). She could barely speak, but told that her father had passed out on the bathroom floor, that paramedics were there and that it wasn't looking good. I left my food, notified my supervisor and ran to my car.
No less than three ambulances were in the driveway. Two paramedics were at the cars, not seeming to be in a hurry. I hoped that was a good sign.
He was dead. My then fiancee told me the second I got up the stairs, and I started crying immediately. Lots. Couldn't remember crying so hard and for so long as I did that day. I just sat down in the sofa with the rest of the family and cried my heart out. I thought I knew what the meaning of the word "devastated" was up until that, but only truly knew it then. He was basically ripped away from our lives.
I held his eulogy. It was by far the hardest thing I've done all of my life. I usually get a "rabbit heart" when I have to speak in public, but this was worse: I had to leave my glasses at the pew so all I could see was the white coffin with the flowers on it, and the text I was reading from. I had to pause a few times, afraid I was about to tear up.
About a month before all this, I also had another experience I've never had before: Being enrolled in the Norwegian Civil Defence, we were sent to stand guard on Utøya after the mass-shooting, when the bereaved and the victims were allowed back on the island to grief and make closure. I cried many times then as well. The year 2011 was a fucking bad year in so many respects.
Thinking about it now, I don't remember much from October that year, and about six months on. Not a memory loss, but more like a black hole.
I think I'm fine now. At least, I feel fine.
Enjoy this one life you're given. Before you know it, it's too late.
And read/listen to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It's great.
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